You have probably indulged more this year than normal and that’s ok – it has been a year of out of the ordinary! For millions of Americans, consuming comfort foods has become a familiar coping mechanism during stressful times. As we look ahead to the holidays and the upcoming winter season there are a lot of ways to prepare for a healthy 2021.
The holidays can be an especially emotional time for some of us, so addressing any underlying emotions or feelings with a counselor can help prevent using food as a crutch to get by during the crunch. Making a conscious effort to track your diet can also help you reach your health goals. For those looking to build up a healthy immune system, adopt a diet full of immunity-boosting superfoods. We recommend drastically increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables and eating whole grains, lean protein and healthy oils, such as olive oil daily.
Adding a few key supplements to our diets, including zinc, selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E are also ways to improve health. And while they can be hard to resist, it is important to limit the intake of processed foods that can cause chronic disease, such as cookies, ice cream, cakes, pies, processed meats, packaged soup, and pasta.
We understand it’s a busy time of year, so while skipping meals may seem like no big deal, it’s not ideal. Our nutrition experts recommend against missing meals as it could potentially trigger impulsive eating or overeating resulting in acid reflux, indigestion and weight gain. Planning your meals ahead of time is encouraged so you can incorporate healthier options into your diet on a regular basis.
This year, many of us are staying home and dining in for the holidays, so try incorporating healthier spins of your favorite holiday recipes into meals. In some cases, you may even be able to experiment with classic recipes by adding in fruits and vegetables, or simply by reducing the amount of added sugars and salts that a recipe might call for. Simple tweaks and adjustments can go a long way in staying healthy during the holidays.
Choosing more nutritious foods is obviously important to wellness, but now more than ever, we have to be diligent about our overall health. Remember to wear a mask when not eating, wash your hands frequently and stay six feet apart.
Our AvanceNutrition services are specifically designed to help you live a healthier life. Learn more about our specialized nutrition programs with one-on-one counseling sessions. Contact us today to get started on your journey to better health.
Dr. Sharon Kirlik, PhD, LCSW graduated with her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Georgia. Later, with the adoption of her African American son and then, her Haitian American daughter, she realized an even deeper passion for working with children and families who were societally marginalized and oppressed. Her interests have compelled her to travel throughout the countries of Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and India allowing her to become immersed in the respective cultures. While completing her PhD with distinction, Dr. Kirlik was publicly recognized in Chicago for her programs created to improve the quality of life for foster care children. Her programs later took her to several countries throughout the continent of Africa, and have won acclaim and recognition among many South African organizations and other government leaders.